Metals and nonmetals, Economic importance of some metals & nonmetals

Every day, we can see the matter around us which has a mass and a volume. The matter may exist as an element or a compound, The element is the simplest form of matter that can not be analyzed into two substances or more. Elements are classified into metals, non-metals, and metalloids (semimetals).

The elements
There are 112 elements.

118 elements have been discovered up till now. and they are divided into natural elements (they are 92 elements) and artificial elements (they are 26 elements).

The elements are composed of small particles known as the molecules which are composed of atoms. Element molecules are formed of similar atoms that are different from those of the other elements.

The scientists classified the elements according to their properties into metals, non-metals, and metalloids, Metals are placed on the left-hand side of the periodic table, and non-metals on the right of the periodic table. The metalloids are intermediate in their properties, they are more like the nonmetals, but under certain circumstances.

Many metalloids can be made to conduct electricity, These semiconductors are used in computers and other electronic devices. Semimetals are also known as metalloids, All metalloids are solids, Metalloids can be shiny or dull, but have a metallic luster. Examples of Metalloids are Boron, Silicon, Germanium, Selenium, Arsenic, Antimony, and Tellurium.


The metals are solids at room temperature, except mercury which is liquid. Solid metals as copper, aluminium, lead, Iron, gold and silver. Metals are elements that form positive ions by losing electrons during chemical reactions, except hydrogen, they are electropositive elements with low ionization energies.

Most metals share the properties of being shiny, very dense, and having high melting points. Furthermore, they are ductile, malleable, and lustrous, Metals are good conductors of heat and electricity.

Some metals will form a patina and the luster is lost. Gold is the most malleable of all the metals, Silver is one of the most ductile metals, Metals form cations in an aqueous solution by losing their electrons, Metals exhibit a wide range of densities but generally are denser than nonmetals. Tungsten, platinum, osmium, gold and iridium are extremely dense.

Properties of metals

  1. The metals are shiny. and they have metallic luster if they are pure.

  2. They are good conductors of electricity.

  3. They are good conductors of heat.

  4. They have high melting and boiling point.

  5. They can be bent, They are malleable, and they can be hammered to form sheets.


They are solids such as sulphur, carbon, and phosphorous. They are liquids such as bromine, and they are gases such as oxygen and nitrogen. Nonmetals form negative ions by gaining electrons during chemical reactions, so, they are electronegative elements with high ionization energies.

Properties of non-metals

  1. They do not have a metallic luster, They are not shiny.

  2. They are not malleable or they can not be hammered. They can not be bent.

  3. They are bad conductors of heat.

  4. They are bad conductors of electricity except carbon.

  5. They have low melting and boiling points.

  1. Metals and non metals properties
    Difference between metals and non-metals.

Some metals and non-metals economic importance

Iron is very important in making bridges, the car chassis (the car frames), the doors and the sheet lights (The lamp posts), and it is metal.

Copper is very important in making electric wires, statues and metallic coins, and it is a metal.

Aluminium is very important in the manufacture of cooking pans, foil paper, and some doorknobs, And it is a metal.

Gold and silver are used in making jewellery, and they are metals.

Carbon (graphite) is used in making the positive electrodes (The poles) of the dry batteries (the cells), and it is non-metal.

Mercury metal is used in making of thermometers.

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